The notion of the mobile journey is now keenly felt within marketing teams across most technology sectors today.
This digital channel has been adopted by consumers at a far greater rate than businesses have integrated it within their strategies. And companies that fail to adapt to maturing, digitizing consumer habits will inevitably fall behind.
It’s vital therefore that you consider the ways in which mobile technology can future-proof your company, and one of the most obvious wins can be found within your customers’ experiences or journeys.
Handheld devices are now one of the most dominant interfaces that customers use to engage with brands.
That has powerful ramifications for your consumer engagement if your strategies can utilize this implicit mobile relationship – although the important metrics have changed from blanket-wide coverage, to a more hyper-personalized focus.
Benefits include higher rates of customer acquisition, a better overall experience via cross-channel engagement and increased conversion rates.
It’s easy, however, to rush into purchasing solutions and applying mobile-first strategies as a company based on the pace of innovation in this industry.
This is the first mistake.
Before you consider your journey into mobile communication, you must consider the mobile journey of your end users and then set objectives accordingly, in alignment with that journey.
Only when you can provide a succinct definition of what that journey looks like, should you begin the process of activating today’s most important engagement channel.
What is your objective?
The overarching objective for most companies is that you’re trying to achieve something with a consumer.
At a deeper level, you may want to increase their engagement, or your attractiveness to them.
Usually, marketing teams already have multiple strategies in place, with different channels being used to reach a consumer, and loyalty redemption remains a challenge in today’s climate, especially if you simply want to up your game.
For example, you’ve been sending out information to your consumers for a while now, maybe about improved offers for weekend get-a-ways, or you have coupons for sales that are currently happening, but they’re not sticking and you’re not driving the levels of conversation you had hoped for.
This is when you should start to think about your consumer journey and subsequent objectives.
In many ways, the financial services sector pioneered this.
Financial services (FS) providers initiated a level of emphasis on mobile engagement via their apps, because they recognized quickly how often their customers would use their phones to interact with their finances.
Their apps gained more users and two-way texting became a means of doing multi-factor authentication became commonplace, and they tied platforms together to leverage a cross-channel experience.
In that way, online banking became increasingly mobile quite organically because of how FS understood their customer journey early on, and then made sure their strategies matched their objective: to streamline banking for users.
An objective can change however depending on your initial question.
So, instead of wondering how to increase engagement as above, maybe you want to drive more sales
This is then followed by more questions: do I want to drive sales across a broad spectrum of consumers, or do I want to personalize strategies and contact distinct groups?
Once you’ve decided on your tactics, you can seek the right technological platform and/or partner to provide you with the relevant tools to engage your customers anytime, anywhere.
This continuation of questions and answers and follow up questions come from your initial objective, so it’s important to spend time considering your vision carefully. The nature of this almost chaotic structure means a few degrees out from your vision at the start of your journey may lead you down a very different path.
To avoid that, you will need to map out the journey from beginning to end so you have something to measure your performances against and continuously improve.
It’s called “the red-faced test”, and you pass it by proving that you gave your customer what they wanted at each step of their progress and that they were happy with their experiences.
This initial outlining, refining and detailing stage to begin with is, in some respects, the most important.
You have outlined not only your relationship with your customer, but also their journey alongside your brand and set up objectives to match them.
You have refined these objectives by asking yourselves questions about what you want to achieve, and adapted your objectives where relevant, regardless of whether you operate in the retail, FS or travel industry.
Finally, you are then in a good position to start detailing your strategy which helps you to secure the right tools, technology and teams from which to begin the mobile marketing campaign.
It sets you off with a good precedent, and forms the foundation for a sustainable trajectory of your new mobile engagement strategy.
The next article in this series focused on optimising mobile engagement, will focus on the second step of your journey: data tools. It’s all about acquisition, cleaning and evaluation, with the aim of measuring your mobile campaign’s success, as well as taking a look at bad data and data illiteracy.